Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

No More Shopping for Sarah Jessica Parker

The list of retailers falling into liquidation in the face of tight credit and disappearing consumers is long, but perhaps no tale of a store gone bust is as dramatic as the one of Steve & Barry's. The 20-year-old company, which built itself up around college campuses, was riding high in early 2008 as it captured the spotlight with clothing lines affiliated with celebrities like actress Sarah Jessica Parker and basketball player Stephon Marbury. But the retailer, like so many, expanded too quickly just as spending was starting to slow, and would up in bankruptcy protection over the summer. In August, private-equity firm Bay Harbour Management and hedge fund York Capital Management gave the store a new lease on life, buying it out of bankruptcy for $168 million. Autumn sales, though, didn't hold up. By November, Steve & Barry's was going out of business for good.